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Heritage Bank Agent Outlets hits 400, Opens in Badagry

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Heritage Bank Agent Outlets hits 400, Opens in Badagry

Heritage Bank Agent Outlets hits 400, Opens in Badagry

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

In line with the financial inclusion strategy of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and its determination to capture the alarming number of unbanked market women, artisans and underserved population in the country, Heritage Bank Plc has deepened its retail banking structure by launching agent banking services at the coastal town of Badagry in Lagos State.

This has brought the growing number of the lender’s agent banking base to 400 ‘Corner Shops.’

The new Badagry outlet, called Thy Grace, was unveiled over the weekend to provide a range of financial services to customers in the neighbourhood of Mowo under the Badagry Local Government.

The MD/CEO of Heritage Bank, Mr Ifie Sekibo explained that the bank has continued to set standard in the launching of ‘Corner Shop’ to cater for the need of traders and artisans at different locations across the country.

According to him, the shop is aimed at giving the unbanked, especially in the rural areas the opportunity to enjoy financial services without the risk and stress of walking kilometres in order to visit a bank branch.

Speaking at the commissioning in Badagry, the Zonal Business Coordinator, South-West, South-South, Agent Banking, Heritage Bank, Ms Oluwakemi Adewunmi, described the feat as a major breakthrough that would relieve the people living in the Ikogazebbe community of the stress they hitherto faced in transacting banking services.

She said with the new Agent commissioned to represent Heritage Bank in the locality, banking services would no longer constitute a headache, but rather would be stress-free for all categories of bank customers.

According to her, anybody can benefit from the services of the agent whether you are a customer to Heritage Bank or another bank.

Ms Adewunmi explained that customers can open bank account, deposit cash, transfer money even to other banks and also pay bills. In view of the peculiarity of the community, she disclosed that the agent deploys mobile POS; adding that the device would make the agent make banking services available at the doorsteps of customers.

With the inclusion of Thy Grace, she said Heritage Bank now boasts of about 400 agents it has established in different parts of the country. She commended the agents for their commitment over the past two years that Heritage Bank’s campaign for financial inclusion started.

Her words: “The level of their loyalty is very high and commendable. Our agents maintain a clean record and they have been effective.”

In his remarks after receiving the Certificate of Authorisation to carry out agent banking on behalf of Heritage Bank, Mr Hunyingan Pius Mifrinso, promoter of Thy Grace, commended the bank for the approval given to him.

He assured that the services of his agency would help to bring banking services closer to the host community. Before now, Mr Mifrinso disclosed that for anybody to transact banking services, the person had to travel over a distance of 15km before getting to the nearest bank.

His words: “The Ikogazebbe community is about 15km far from Badagry and for anybody to do a small banking transaction; the person has to travel to Badagry town.” Apart from the time usually wasted in doing that, he said transportation cost a minimum of N400.

Meanwhile, Mr Mifrinso assured that with the new dispensation, the people in the neighbourhood could heave a sigh of relief as banking is now made easy. In order to effectively cover the area, he disclosed that his agency would recruit some roaming agents to comb the community for traders who might not have the time to deposit the proceeds of their sales in banks.

Agent banking is the delivery of financial services outside conventional bank branches, often using non-bank retail agents and relying on technology, such as card readers, point-of–sale (POS) terminal or mobile phones for real time transaction processing. It is an initiative to actualise the CBN’s policy on financial inclusion.

Modupe Gbadeyanka is a fast-rising journalist with Business Post Nigeria. Her passion for journalism is amazing. She is willing to learn more with a view to becoming one of the best pen-pushers in Nigeria. Her role models are the duo of CNN's Richard Quest and Christiane Amanpour.

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Banking

KPMG Rates Stanbic IBTC Bank High in Retail, Corporate Banking

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Stanbic IBTC opens new branch

By Aduragbemi Omiyale

The KPMG 2022 Nigeria Banking Industry Customer Experience (CX) Survey has rated Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc high in retail and corporate banking in the country.

According to the report, Stanbic IBTC Bank occupied the first position with a 73.8 CX score out of 100 in the retail segment and sustained the leading position for the second consecutive year. Time and effort are the drivers of performance in the retail category, and the bank outperformed its peers in this regard.

Stanbic IBTC Bank, which held the top position in the retail and SME segments last year, performed well across key customer journey areas, particularly in resolution – a key area of improvement for the industry where customers rate banks on timeliness and quality of feedback on issues as well as the ability and ease of reporting issues and concerns.

Other customer journey areas where Stanbic IBTC Bank came tops included discovery – the ease of getting information about the bank coupled with professional and friendly staff, the ease of account opening with digital-only options and the speedy onboarding process.

Stanbic IBTC Bank is among the top three in transacting – accessibility, timeliness, and quality of service from physical and digital channels, and in account maintenance which covers requests for account statements, general enquiries and updates to account information with accuracy and completeness.

Moving up five places compared to last year’s report, Stanbic IBTC Bank also emerged as this year’s leader in the corporate segment with an 80.9 score out of 100 and received great feedback on the depth of their relationship managers’ knowledge in key sectors.

The report also revealed that Stanbic IBTC successfully closed the gap in digital banking, emerging as a clear leader in the industry.

Speaking on these achievements, the chief executive of Stanbic IBTC Bank, Mr Wole Adeniyi, said, “The primary goal of the bank is to forge lasting relationships with its clients by offering timely, creative, and valuable solutions that benefit them. We are fully committed to serving Nigerians with top-notch financial services.”

According to Mr Adeniyi, “2022 has been remarkable for us at Stanbic IBTC. Asides from these good standings revealed by the KPMG report, the globally renowned credit rating agency, Fitch Ratings, also reaffirmed the retention of our National Long-Term ‘AAA (nga)’ and National Short-Term ‘F1+(nga)’ ratings for the Stanbic IBTC Group and Stanbic IBTC Bank respectively.”

“The National Long-Term ‘AAA (nga)’ and National Short-Term ‘F1+(nga)’ Ratings are the highest possible ratings on Fitch’s rating scale, and we were rated high based on the potential support from our parent company, Standard Bank Group, based in South Africa. We play a vital role in Standard Bank Group’s main operations in West Africa, and we retained our ratings based on our size and high operational integration,” he added.

Fitch Ratings assessed Stanbic IBTC’s strategic importance as the holding company for Standard Bank Group’s leading corporate and investment banking (CIB) and wealth businesses in Nigeria and Stanbic IBTC Bank’s position as an integral part of its Nigerian operations. It also considered Standard Bank Group’s controlling ownership of Stanbic IBTC, high integration of risk management, operations and strategy, shared branding, and Stanbic IBTC’s moderate contribution to Standard Bank Group’s net income.

The ‘AAA (nga)’ is given to issuers with the lowest expectation of default risk when compared with their competitors. The National Short-Term Rating of ‘F1+(nga)’ is assigned to issuers that have a strong capacity for timely payment of financial commitments in comparison to other issuers in Nigeria.

Mr Adeniyi noted that the organisation’s competitive position, good risk profile, healthy funding, and liquidity position also facilitated its upgrade in the Global Credit Ratings (GCR). The national scale long-term issuer rating assigned to Stanbic IBTC Bank PLC was upgraded to AAA(NG) from AA+(NG) and the national scale short-term issuer rating was A1+(NG), indicating a stable outlook and making Stanbic IBTC Bank the only financial institution in Nigeria with the rating.

He attributed the astounding performances of the organisation to the dedication and hard work of its workforce and the tenacity of the firm to continue to play vital roles in Nigeria’s economic development, stating that Stanbic IBTC would not relent in developing sustainable solutions that ensure customers’ delight and the company’s success in the Nigerian financial services spectrum.

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Banking

Customers to Win N50m at Draws of Union Bank Promos

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Union Bank

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

Over N50 million is up for grabs at two draws of Union Bank of Nigeria Plc promos aimed at rewarding its loyal customers on Friday, January 27, 2023.

A statement from the lender disclosed that the event, to be live-streamed to allow participants to join virtually, will take place at the bank’s head office in Marina, Lagos.

Union Bank is currently running two promos, the Save & Win Palli campaign in its second edition and the UnionKorrect campaign, a savings promo.

Save & Win Palli Promo and UnionKorrect promo are nationwide campaigns aimed at rewarding customers with cash prizes and other exciting gifts. The goal is to encourage and promote a healthy savings culture, and the promo is open to new and existing customers.

More than 300 lucky customers will be rewarded at the dual draws on Friday with cash prizes and other exciting consolation prizes.

In addition, one lucky customer will go home with the grand prize of N5 million from the Save and Win promo draw, while other customers will receive other cash prizes of N105,000 and N500,000 for the last set of the monthly and quarterly draw winners.

In addition, Union Bank will reward 227 customers with N18.5 million in the UnionKorrect campaign.

Winners will be randomly selected through electronically generated and transparent draws monitored by relevant regulatory bodies.

Prospective customers can download the UnionMobile app on their mobile phones to open an account or walk into any Union Bank branch.

To reactivate existing accounts, returning customers can call the 24-hour Contact Centre on 07007007000 or visit any of Union Bank’s branches across the country.

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Banking

Mixed Feelings as CBN Cash Swap Programme Kicks Off

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New Naira Notes Business Post cash swap programme

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

The cash swap programme of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in rural and underserved areas of the country kicked off on Monday, January 23, 2023, amid mixed feelings.

On October 26, 2022, the Governor of the CBN, Mr Godwin Emefiele, announced that the bank would redesign the N200, N500, and N1,000 notes.

At a special press briefing in Abuja, he further disclosed that the new banknotes would be introduced into the system on December 15, 2022, while by January 31, 2023, all the old notes would have been mopped up from the circulation.

As announced, the new notes hit circulation last month, but instead of banks to stop giving customers the old notes, they are still issued with the currency despite having about a week to the deadline.

This raised doubts about the feasibility of the deadline, especially when Nigerians in the rural areas were yet to see the redesigned Naira denominations.

In order to reach these people, the central bank launched the cash swap policy, which allows Nigerians to exchange their old notes for new ones.

According to a circular jointly signed over the weekend by the Director of Banking Supervision at the CBN, Mr Haruna Mustafa, and the Director of Payments System Management, Mr Musa Jomoh, the initiative was to reach rural communities in Nigeria.

Under this programme, an agency will “exchange a maximum of N10,000 per person, as the amount above this would be treated as a cash-in deposit into wallets or bank accounts in line with the cashless policy, BVN, NIN or voter’s card details of the customers should be captured as much as possible.”

The CBN said to promote financial inclusion, “this service is also available to anybody without a bank account. Agents may, on request, instantly open a wallet or account, leveraging the CBN Tiered KYC Framework. This will ensure that this category of the populace is able to exchange or deposit their cash seamlessly without taking unnecessary risk or incurring undue cost.”

For accountability, the agent would be required to “render weekly returns to their designated banks regarding the cash swap transactions. DMBs shall, in turn, render same to the CBN on a weekly basis.”

Reports gathered by Business Post indicate that this policy was a mixed bag on its first day.

In the Igbo Egun area of Abeokuta, Ogun State, this newspaper was informed that residents of this community are still in the dark about the redesigned Naira notes, while a few of the Ilogbo community in Ado-Odo/Otta in Ogun State, and those in the Ishefun, Olayemi, Igesu, Olorunisola areas of Ayobo, Lagos, have seen the new notes and are optimistic of having their cash swapped for the new notes before the deadline.

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